Learning Objectives

Upon completion of DIG 220, students will be able to:

  • Analyze electronic literature through close reading and procedural literacy
  • Connect avant-garde aesthetics to mainstream popular culture
  • Engage in intellectually valuable discussions about creative expression and technology
  • Evaluate how conventional literary and aesthetic categories apply to new media environments
  • Create original multimodal work that takes advantage of the unique aesthetic and literary affordances of digital environments

Reading and Other Course Material

There is one book to purchase for DIG 220 from the college bookstore:

In addition, there are several games and apps to purchase, download, or borrow for the class, including:


There are five major assignments over the course of the semester:

  1. Weekly blogging
  2. A Tracery combinatory project (Project 1)
  3.  A Let’s Play-style video (Project 2)
  4. An entry for the Electronic Literature Directory (Project 3)
  5. Final Port project (Project 4)

In addition to these five tasks, this class places a high premium on engagement. It is essential that everyone has carefully considered the day’s material, attends class, and participates. I also expect students to bring the day’s materials to class, marked up with notes and annotations. Missing class outside of excused absences will lower your final grade. Religious observation, medical emergencies, or college-sanctioned commitments count as excused absences.

Grading Specifications

DIG 220 will use an unconventional form of assessment called “specifications grading.” All of the details are available on the Grading Specifications page.

Inclusive learning

I am committed to the principle of inclusive learning. This means that our classroom, our virtual spaces, our practices, and our interactions be as inclusive as possible. Mutual respect, civility, and the ability to listen and observe others carefully are crucial to inclusive learning.

Davidson College values the diversity of its community and is an equal access institution that admits otherwise qualified applicants without regard to disability. The college seeks to accommodate requests for accommodations related to disability that are determined to be reasonable and do not compromise the integrity of a program or curriculum. To make such a request or to begin a conversation about a possible request, please contact Beth Bleil, Director of Academic Access and Disability Resources, in the Center for Teaching and Learning by visiting her office in the E.H. Little Library, by emailing her at, or by calling 704-894-2129. It is best to submit accommodation requests within the drop/add period, however, requests can be made at any time in the semester. Please keep in mind that accommodations are not retroactive.

Academic Integrity

Students at Davidson College abide by an Honor Code. The principle of academic integrity is taken very seriously and violations are treated gravely. What does academic integrity mean in this course? Essentially this: when you are responsible for a task, you will perform that task. When you rely on someone else’s work in an aspect of the performance of that task, you will give full credit in the proper, accepted form.

Another aspect of academic integrity is the free play of ideas. Vigorous discussion and debate are encouraged in this course, with the firm expectation that all aspects of the class will be conducted with civility and respect for differing ideas, perspectives, and traditions. When in doubt (of any kind) please ask for guidance and clarification.

Classroom Courtesy

While this course embraces the digital world it also recognizes that digital tools and environments complicate personal interactions. Studies have shown that students who use laptops in class often receive lower grades than those who don’t. Even more worrisome are studies that show laptop users distract students around them. I permit laptops and tablets in class, but only when used for classroom activities, such as note-taking or class readings. Occasionally I may ask students to turn off all digital devices.

Messaging or other cell phone use is unacceptable. Any student whose phone rings during class or who texts in class will be responsible for kicking off the next class day’s discussion.

Late arrivals or early departures from class are disruptive and should be avoided.